Making Chips: What Happens When Sanctions Spark Work Arounds

October 25, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[2]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Maybe the Japanese outfit Canon is providing an example of the knock on effects of sanctions. On the other hand, maybe this is just PR. My hunch is more information will become available in the months ahead. “Nanoimprint Lithography Semiconductor Manufacturing System That Covers Diverse Applications with Simple Patterning Mechanism” discloses:

On October 13, 2023, Canon announced today the launch of the FPA-1200NZ2C nanoimprint semiconductor manufacturing equipment, which executes circuit pattern transfer, the most important semiconductor manufacturing process.

10 15 otter try 2

“This might be important,” says a technologically oriented animal in rural Kentucky. Thanks, MidJourney, continue to descend gradiently.

The idea is small and printing traces of a substance. The application is part of the expensive and delicate process of whipping out modern chips.

The write up continues:

By bringing to market semiconductor manufacturing equipment with nanoimprint lithography (NIL) technology, in addition to existing photolithography systems, Canon is expanding its lineup of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to meet the needs of a wide range of users by covering from the most advanced semiconductor devices to the existing devices.

Several observations are warranted:

  1. Oh, oh. A new process may be applicable to modern chip manufacturing.
  2. The system and method may be of value to countries dealing with US sanctions.
  3. Clever folks find ways to do things that regulatory language cannot anticipate.

Is this development important even if the Canon announcement is a bit fluffy? Yep, because the information about the system and method provide important road signs on the information superhighway. Canon does cameras, owns some intelware technology, and now allegedly provides an alternative to the traditional way to crank out advanced semiconductors.

Stephen E Arnold, October 25, 2023


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